Cape Town - Forty-five years after two-year-old Gustav Mushfieldt mysteriously vanished while shopping with his grandmother, age-progression may be the key to unlocking what happened to him.
This week, an IT specialist and expert, who works using age progression, has composed images of Gustav during the various stages of his life, hoping it can give the family renewed hope.
The expert used images of Gustav, his mother, father and close relatives to compose the age composition.
Police said that their missing person’s division would be assigned to the case.
Police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi said arrangements would be made for the missing persons unit to make contact with Gustav’s mother, Patricia Mushfieldt, 70.
This year, Mushfieldt approached family members hoping to do an age progression of her son.
“I was in Atlantis at home and he went with my mother, Dianna Mackenzie and my husband, who became my ex-husband, to Pep Stores in Elsies River,” she said.
“According to my mother, while she was looking at the male underwear, Gustav, like any two-year-old ,was wandering around.
“When she realised she couldn't find him in the aisles, she went to the manager and they searched everywhere and they could not find him. The store was packed and the staff helped search for him.
“Somebody must have taken him because what usually happens when you find a missing child, you take him to the manager.
“It has been 46 years now. I just want to see him, if he is still alive and if he has passed on, I want to know what happened.”
She said Gustav has a triangular birthmark next to his left eye.
Mushfieldt said she had followed many false leads, hoping for answers. She has never given up her quest.
“A woman said she knew where he was and told us to meet her at a hotel in PE but she was not there when we arrived,” she said.
“Another person said they were present at Gustav’s baptism, that his baptism was done again.”
With tears streaming down her face and looking at photographs of her children, she said her one son had been murdered while the other was missing.
“My son, Richard, was murdered 14 years ago in Atlantis, and with him, there is a grave which I can go to, but with Gustav, I will always wonder where he is, if he is alive, I have no closure or answers. It is so painful, it is something I cannot explain.”
Imraahn Mukaddam, of Inspire Network in Elsies River, said the case was a reminder that children disappeare continued today.
“Today, we have so much technology and tech surveillance and yet still so many children are vulnerable, as they were over 40 years ago.
“We have the case of baby Ka-isha Meniers and we look at Zephany Nurse’s family which has closure.
“But for Gustav’s mother, it has been agony not finding her son, which is the biggest tragedy.”
Mushfieldt said she was keen to see how her son would look as an adult and that there was hope.
“Christmas is never a good time for me because Gustav was born in December and he went missing in December, so it is very hard for me.”
Gustav’s younger sister, Shanaaz Mushfieldt, was given the identikit this week.
“He looks like my eldest brother, Heinrich,” she said, adding that her mother agreed.